Gluten can cause health issues for many people. Some may have an intolerance or allergy, also known as Celiac disease, some may not be sure if they have a problem with it or not, but would like to try avoiding it in order to find out. This however, may not be as easy as it sounds. At first it seems easy, cut out breads, muffins, bagels, and so on. Simple right? Maybe not.
Did you know that you could be unaware of some of the foods that has gluten hiding in them? Or foods you might not think about when you think about cutting it out of your life. Of course when you think fried chicken, you think flour used for frying which makes it easy to see you should stay away from it. You might not think the same way about meatloaf, yet meatloaf will almost always have bread crumbs in it, meaning it should be avoided as well.
If you enjoy soy sauce on your Chinese food, you could be getting a dose of gluten. Soy is not the only sauce either, any thickened sauce you have on food could have been made with a Roux to thicken it, and a roux is nothing more than butter and flour. If you are only thinking about foods in your decision to go gluten free, think again, beer and even some teas which contain barley should be taken out of your diet. If your allergy is very severe, you may have to research your beauty products. Avoid those with wheat or oat based ingredients.
As you can see it can be hiding in many foods, the only sure way to know if something you are eating has it or not is to read the label. Look for labels that say the product is free of it. Though to make it even more confusing, be careful about oats, which can be in gluten free products, yet they are often contaminated by coming into contact with wheat during processing.
When you shop, it is a good idea to print out a list of foods to be avoided and words to look for on labels that will let you know to stay away from it. There is a lot of information about gluten free living on the Internet, you can find lists of words that indicate it is something to be avoided. With some research and homework, you will find that it gets easier as time goes on, You will become more and more adapt at making good food choices.
Remember the best way to find out if you have food intolerances - especially to gluten is with proper testing. You want the BEST testing available (developed by Dr. Aristo Vojdani and you can find it at Johnson Chirpractic Neurology & Nutrition in Shelby Township, Michigan. Aristo Vojdani, Ph.D., M.Sc., C.L.S., a leading researcher in the fields of autoimmune disease and neuroimmunology who has published more than 120 scientific papers.
Feel free to download my gluten free, casein free, soy free, yeast free eating guide by clicking on the link below. You will find this guide super helpful in your transition to your health supporting life-enhancing dietary changes!
Wheat (or, more specifically, gluten) might actually be the source of the miseries suffered by some people diagnosed with fibromyalgia. Yet often this source goes unconsidered! Specialized testing finally is availble starting January of 2011 that tests antibody reactions to 15 components (gliadin epitopes) of wheat. Johnson Chiropractic Neurology & Nutrition of Shelby Township, Michigan can order this test to see if your fibromyalgia symptoms are due to reacting to wheat. This is truly exciting news!
Fibromyalgia is a painful condition with multiple and varying symptoms. Many sufferers endure a long battery of treatments with negligible results. However, there is a growing body of medical writing, as well as personal storytelling, that suggests one might benefit from considering the role played by gluten in causing fibromyalgia symptoms. Unfortunately this possible cause is still going under recognized.
As you may already know, gluten is a protein found in wheat and some other grains. It contributes to the delightful rising, shaping and texture of many breads but there's a downside to it unfortunately. More and more people are finding that their bodies are intolerant of gluten. This intolerance is a tricky one to diagnose. Even the simplest way to see if wheat is the cause of your symptoms-–to eliminate gluten from your diet —is not so easy because wheat is ubiquitous in American eating in more ways than you might guess. Being gluten free involves much more than dropping bread from the diet.
There is much discussion about the possibility of nutritional deficiencies in the development of fibromyalgia. Gluten intolerance, when it becomes celiac disease, causes damage to the small intestine, compromising its ability to absorb some nutrients. So it's reasonable to consider a connection. If you look at symptoms commonly associated with fibromyalgia and compare them with symptoms that are often alleviated by a gluten free diet, you might be surprised that a connection is not suggested more often.
Some shared complaints, listed by the Mayo Clinic, include:
- stomach upset
- joint pain
- muscle cramps
- abdominal cramps, gas and bloating
While web sites dedicated solely to the subject of fibromyalgia do not frequently bring up the subject of gluten sensitivity, there is evidence of an association in articles from the medical research community. For instance, The Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology reports:
The wide variety and severity of symptoms [of celiac disease, which is caused by gluten intolerance] frequently result in misdiagnoses of irritable bowel syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome and/or fibromyalgia.
And, an article in the British Medical Journal, asserts:
A good argument therefore exists for screening for this disease [celiac disease] when patients present with what may seem initially to be fibromyalgia…
Meanwhile, in online forums and blogs, personal stories continually attest to the relief found by so-called fibromyalgia sufferers when they act to eliminate gluten from their diets.
It's clear that those diagnosed with fibromyalgia might want to consider what, if any, role is played by sensitivity to or intolerance of gluten. Much better to change your eating habits than to continue suffering pain and discomfort. After all, man (and woman!) does not live by bread alone!
Another point to consider; only eliminating gluten is not usually enough to recover from gluten induced health challenges such as fibromyalgia. A thorough program that focuses on quenching the systemic inflammation triggered by gluten induced immune system dysregulation is also needed. Johnson Chiropractic Neurology & Nutition offers a comprehensive approach that uses proper testing to thorougly evaluates each individual. From that testing the individual with fibromyalgia receives instructions for diet and lifestyle changes, specific nutritional supplementation and brain-based therapy - Johnson Neuro-Metabolic Therapy
With pizza and hamburgers as fixtures in the diets of most of today’s kids, it can be challenging to raise a child who suffers from celiac disease or gluten intolerance, but there are also many tips and techniques that can make it much easier to keep your child healthy, happy, and gluten-free. A trip to your local library or bookstore can go a long way towards helping your child understand that they’re not alone and that many kids must maintain special diets. For example, “Eating Gluten-Free with Emily” (by Bonnie J. Kruszka) is a highly recommended book for pre-school and elementary age children with celiac disease. It explains the condition and its effects on the body without being condescending or "talking down" to the child.
Another way to help your child come to terms with their dietary adjustment is to focus on what they can have instead of all of the things that they can’t. Your child will probably love to hear that she can still enjoy an occasional sweet treat without breaking her diet. LÄRABARS, Hershey kisses, Surf Sweets Organic Jelly Beans (made in USA!), and dark chocolate covered strawberries are all gluten-free treats that your child can still enjoy...and there are many others, too!
Another useful tip is to allow your child to feel as if they have some control over what they eat. One of the best ways to do this is to ask them to help plan out meals. Some gluten-free families even go so far as to experiment with recipes and create a special family cookbook together. This is a fun bonding activity that can lead to some really creative and delicious meals! If you’re not very handy in the kitchen, fear not. Thanks to organic stores like the Whole Foods chain and Meijer, Trader Joe stores, there are many tasty gluten-free pastas, breads, and snack cakes that are conveniently pre-packaged and ready to eat.
One of the hardest hurdles to overcome is helping your child stick with the plan when you aren’t around. Role-playing with your child can equip him with go-to responses for those times that well-meaning relatives or friends offers questionable foods.
Feeling “different” is most likely one of the top reasons that a child may fall off the gluten-free wagon. Why? Because no kid wants to be the only one without a slice of cake at the birthday party. One of the best ways to handle this problem (and other similar social situations) is to inform the adults in charge of the dietary situation and ask for permission to bring an extra treat to the event. Whip up a batch of “look-alike” cupcakes at home and let your child bring a few extras to share. This way, he can focus on the fun he’s having and not on the food he’s missing.
If you’re concerned about nutrients that may be missing from your child’s diet, there are several different gluten-free vitamin brands that you can safely give your child. One we highly recommend at Johnson Chiropractic Neurology & Nutrition in Shelby Township, Michigan is PeidaFocus™ from Designs for Health. PediaFocus™, a high-protein, nutrient-rich meal replacement, is an ideal way to provide children of all ages with nutritional support for cognition, focus, stress tolerance, and immune function, along with supportive vitamins and minerals for overall health. It contains effective quantities of critical micronutrients and key nutraceuticals, and will help solve the breakfast dilemma that many parents face. PediaFocus™ replaces the need for a separate multivitamin, providing a rich nutritional foundation, including true mixed tocopherols (with high amounts of gamma tocopherol), natural folates from the NatureFolate™ blend, and Albion® chelated minerals with optimal absorption.
While PediaFocus™ is appropriate for all children, it may be particularly important for those with difficulties focusing in school and those with ADHD (Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder). There is much evidence that diet and nutrition play a critical role in affecting behavior in the hyperactive child, focusing on avoidance of simple sugars, processed foods, and chemical food additives and dyes. This product contains no sucrose, fructose or artificial flavors, deriving its sweetness from the natural herb stevia.
PediaFocus™ provides a generous 15 grams of whey protein per serving, as adequate amounts of protein throughout the day are needed to properly stabilize blood sugar. While sugar will not cause a child to develop ADHD, it has been known to exacerbate some of the disorder's symptoms. This is especially significant since ADHD children frequently have abnormal sugar metabolism. Whey was chosen as the protein source for its rich and creamy texture, along with its complete amino acid profile and wonderful immune-boosting components. This delicious, naturally-flavored chocolate powder can be added to water, milk, milk alternatives, or any other beverage of choice
Another commercially available multivitamin is Schiff Children’s Chewables.
Good luck and happy parenting!
Eating out when you live gluten free presents a unique challenge but an even greater dilemma when you plan to dine with friends who don't suffer from this autoimmune illness. If you lead a GF lifestyle, follow these simple steps for hassle free dining out with friends. Be Prepared
When you life with a food sensitivity, it pays to know ahead of time where you can and cannot eat out. Pizza? Probably not unless the parlor specifically serves GF pizza. Brew pubs? Not your best option, either.
Knowing ahead of time the restaurants that cater specifically to people on a gluten free diet or those who can easily accommodate your needs will come in handy when the question gets asked, "Where should we eat tonight?" Consider knowing a few restaurants in different parts of town, that serve different cuisines and what your beverage choices are (not just beer, for example). If you're not prepared with some suggestions that will have broad appeal and can meet your dietary needs, you'll probably find yourself eating a house salad, hold the croutons and dressing. Again.Hidden Allergens
Your troubles don't stop once you get to a known restaurant or one you reasonably believe could accommodate your gluten free lifestyle. You should also know where food allergens can hide out of sight on the menu descriptions. Some common foods prepared with wheat, barley, malt and rye include:
- Soup with a flour base;
- Salad dressings containing soy sauce or other thickeners;
- Breading on a wide variety of appetizers and entrees;
- Finishing sauces and gravies thickened with flour;
- And anything with soy sauce.
Never be afraid to ask your wait staff about how the food is prepared, what specifically is in the dish including the different sauces, and whether or not the food comes into contact with any gluten, especially if you have a very high sensitivity or celiac disease. If the chefs or wait staff can't tell you if a dish is gluten free or not, pick something else. A little investigating on your part will save you from the after effects of ingesting a known allergen after your meal.
Help With Cross Contamination
No matter how careful you are in selecting a tasty dish to eat, it is wise to use gluten and casein digesting (dipeptidyl peptidase IV or DPP IV) enzymes at the beginning of your meal. Why you may ask and the reason is the food you eat at a non-gluten free restaurant will likely have gluten cross contamination. Taking an enzyme with high activity units of DPP-IV go a long way towards mitigating the effects of accidentally ingested gluten cross-contaminated foods. I recommend either Apex Energetics GlutenFlam or Integrative Therapeutics Similase GFCF. I have used both personally and find them very effective. They are available at my office.
Educate Your Friends
Your food sensitivity is not just a matter of taste. Living GF takes diligence, effort, patience and a lot of self education. People don't choose this diet simply because they woke up one day and decided they didn't like bread. But sometimes, our social circle, particularly those without dietary restrictions, simply can't understand why we have to be so careful about what goes in our mouths. Taking the time to teach your friends about your autoimmune illness, how it affects you and the long term damage gluten can do to your body will go a long way toward making dining out with friends easier. When your friends understand your challenges, they will be less likely to blow off your concerns about where you choose to eat.
Living with a gluten sensitivity takes some hard work, but you can still enjoy the pleasures of dining out with friends by planning ahead. Happy eating.
I could have easily titled this article "Eat, Fish and Be Healthy" but that wouldn't have been as descriptive. Michigan in the heart of summer is an amazing water wonderland. She is surrounded by the great lakes that just beg for exploration and the sharing of her bounty. Recently I hired my friend Captain Dan Cruchon to take my sons and a couple friends and I sport fishing in Lake Huron. Fishing with Captain Dan Cruchon is always a great experience. His knowledge and expertise in the field of sport fishing is amazing. There has never been a time where we have left the boat empty handed. I’ve made it an annual tradition to hire Captain Dan and his Stormy Chinook to capture food for our family. We love salmon, trout, walleye and other great lakes fish. What a great way to add fish to the freezer and best of all it is wild – NOT FARMED.
Farmed fish is very unhealthy as it contains PCB’s, artificial colors and the feed is often wheat based, which contains gluten…and even worse. As you know from my other articles gluten can trigger autoimmune illness, such as Hashimoto's in susceptible individuals. In May of 2007, Rick Weiss, a Washington Post staff writer, wrote the article entitled, Farm-Raised Fish Given Tainted Food. In this article Rick explained tainted ingredients made it into the farming food supply:
“The tainted Chinese ingredient that was incorporated into U.S. pet food and later made its way into chicken and pig feed was neither wheat gluten nor rice protein as advertised, but was seriously contaminated wheat flour, government investigators said yesterday.
The finding adds a new layer of fraud to an already seamy tale of international deception.
Moreover, officials said, some of that contaminated flour, mislabeled as gluten, was mixed into fish food in Canada and exported to the United States, where it was fed to fish raised for human consumption.
Accordingly, some American fish may be laced with melamine, the industrial toxin whose spread has revealed in startling detail the many ways in which the food chains for pets, farm animals and humans are internationally intertwined.”
I just don’t understand how food producers can think that food not made the way nature intended is fit for human consumption…but we all know for many food producers it comes down to profits being more important than the health benefits of their products. That’s the reason I am very selective about the food I put into my body. It’s also a good reason to charter a fishing trip or two every year.
Normally when we fish with Captain Dan for salmon we are able to bring home about 100 pounds of this delightfully healthy fish. Compare wild salmon to farmed salmon:
“First, farmed salmon usually has dye added to it to improve the looks of the product. Even with the coloring, the product doesn't look as good as Wild Salmon. Furthermore, these colorings come with recently documented cancer causing agents. These dyes have zero health benefits, and have no other purpose than to fool you, the consumer, into thinking the product is rich in flavor ... Don't believe the hype! Also, one of the true health benefits of salmon is not as concentrated in farmed salmon. That benefit is called Omega 3 oil. These oils have been scientifically proven to have the highest concentrations in Wild Alaskan King Salmon, and is also prominent in Wild Sockeye & Coho. The Alaskan salmon runs are fish that live as nature intended them to live, in cold, deep water, returning every year to the pristine rivers in Alaska's remote wilderness to spawn.”
Furthermore PCB’s found in farmed salmon is much higher than in wild salmon:
“Seven of ten farmed salmon purchased at grocery stores in Washington DC, San Francisco, and Portland, Oregon were contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) at levels that raise health concerns, according to independent laboratory tests commissioned by the Environmental Working Group.
These first-ever tests of farmed salmon from U.S. grocery stores show that farmed salmon are likely the most PCB-contaminated protein source in the U.S. food supply. On average farmed salmon have 16 times the dioxin-like PCBs found in wild salmon, 4 times the levels in beef, and 3.4 times the dioxin-like PCBs found in other seafood. The levels found in these tests track previous studies of farmed salmon contamination by scientists from Canada, Ireland, and the U.K. In total, these studies support the conclusion that American consumers nationwide are exposed to elevated PCB levels by eating farmed salmon.”
In general it is way healthier to eat fresh caught wild fish rather than buy farmed fish…and it is less expensive too. Hiring Captain Dan usually results in our net cost for a pound of fish to be between approximately $4.00 to $9.00 per pound (including travel and lodging). Plus we get to experience the fun of fishing, the beauty of nature and the bonding between friends and family. What more could you ask for!
As I’ve written about before, when I am at an outing, I also maintain my health promoting dietary requirements so I can put as many of the odds in my favor to avoid the autoimmune diseases so prevalent in my family history.
In preparation for our 6-hour afternoon fishing trip on Lake Huron at bit of shopping and menu planning was necessary. The captain, my son, Kyle, and I all need to be gluten free so we brought some provisions for the trip to tide us over until dinner. So what do you eat while on such a fishing trip? We brought a large jar of pickled herring, gluten free crackers, uncured salami (no nitrates or nitrites), a case of water, True North Almond Pecan Cashew Clusters (these crunchy nut clusters combine freshly roasted pecans, almonds and peanuts with a surprising hint of sweetness) and a combination packaged of olives, sun-dried tomatoes and roasted peppers. Kyle even made home-made hummus spring rolls with shredded carrots and lettuce. Yum!
Consider going a fishing expedition or buy wild food when you are shopping and by all means stick to your health supporting/restoring diet while you have fun.
I often get emails and phone calls from patients and potential patients regarding how we help those who suffer with Hashimoto's.
For those of you who don't know, Hashimoto's was named after Hakaru Hashimoto who was a Japanese physician and the first one to come down with what is know known as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis. In 1912 he was diagnosed with an inflammation of the thyroid. Basically this is an autoimmune disease which causes your body to attack its own tissue which can lead to tissue damage; thyroid and other tissues.
Sometimes a patient wants to avoid taking thyrod medications, or they've tried and the medication made them feel worse. One thing is certain - if the underlying CAUSE is not sussed out, the out of balance immune system can and often does lead to other areas of the body being targeted for destruction. Taking thyroid medication is sometimes necessary due to the Hashimoto's process causing thyroid tissue destruction. Some website promote what seems to be a simple solution to dealing with Hashimoto's; using a special concoction of herbal remedies.
I know they make it sound like there is a magical pill, but it "just ain't so", I'm sorry to say when an autoimmune process is ravaging your body.
When a patient has an undetermined amount of thyroid gland destroyed from the autoimmune process, it is often necessary-even prudent - to use medication (see item number 4 below). Why? Because with less thyroid gland tissue there will be less thyroid hormones produced. Supplements can't make a smaller thyroid gland produce thyroid hormones sufficient enough to meet the many needs of the body. Some herbs are stimulatory to the immune system and they will likely increase the autoimmune attack on the thyroid. It is important to THOROUGHLY EVALUATE each individual's situation, and where necessary, use a holistic and the medical approach together.
Dr. Johnson' 5-Prong Comprehensive Approach For Helping Patients With Autoimmune Illness:
1. Identify and remove the trigger(s) that aggravate the immune system (foods, chemicals, hormonal imbalance, etc.).
2. Quench the existing body-wide inflammatory cascade (with diet & lifestyle changes and specific supplements that down regulate pro-inflammatory processes and up-regulate anti-inflammatory processes).
3. Aid in the repair the GI tract barrier (and any of the other 4 barriers that are breached).
4. Support the damaged autoimmune target with specific supplements and/or medical hormone replacement therapy (as in the case of thyroid and pancreas damage by co-managing the illness with your medical doctor)
5. Re-mediate any abnormal brain and nervous system function with Johnson Brain-Based Therapy (functional neurology)
It is important to consider that the the thyroid gland has major influence in all of these areas:
- Enhances a portion of the nervous system called the sympathetic nervous system.
- Promotes breakdown of blood sugar, mobilizes fats, essential for protein synthesis, enhances the liver’s synthesis of cholesterol.
- Promotes normal adult nervous system function and mood.
- Promotes normal functioning of the heart.
- Promotes normal muscular growth and function.
- Promotes normal GI motility and tone; increases secretion of digestive juices, particularly that of the gallbladder and the stomach.
- Promotes normal female reproductive ability and lactation.
- Promotes normal hydration and secretory activity of the skin.
Although I wrote what follows in a previous blog post, I feel it's worth considering the influences of thyroid hormones on physiological and metabolic function again:
Bone: Deficiency of thyroid hormones lead to a decrease in bone development and an abnormal architecture of the bone that is created. Generally, a functionally low (which means low but not flagged as of yet) serum calcium is noted in hypothyroidism. Elevated thyroid hormones causes an increased serum calcium, as it pulls calcium frCom the bone, leading to increased risk of pathological fractures of the spine and weight bearing joints.
Gastrointestinal Function: Transit time is affected directly by thyroid hormones as is absorption of nutrients.
Male Hormones: Hypothyroidism has been linked to diminished libido and impotence. Although this condition is more rare in men, it must be considered in treating these conditions.
Liver and Gallbladder Function: Low thyroid function caused decreased liver clearance and gall bladder congestion through thickening of the bile, often also associated with an elevation of cholesterol. Unfortunately, also often treated with cholesterol lowering drugs while the thyroid function is the cause of the elevated cholesterol.
Body Composition: As you may know all too well, low thyroid function causes an inability to lose weight. This is caused by a slowed conversion of glucose and fat into energy, and altering the way Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is metabolized in the body.
Blood Sugar Regulation: Low thyroid slows the insulin response to glucose following eating carbohydrates or sugar and it also slows glucose uptake into cells and tissues, and slows absorption of glucose from the intestinal tract. In other words, your entire energy production system is slowed. It is quite confounding to your body and brain, in that the glucose is in the blood, but the tissues are not able to absorb it. This really confuses the pituitary gland and adrenal glands, resulting in a “stress physiology,” even if life is good.
Cholesterol: As mentioned earlier, low thyroid increases your cholesterol and triglycerides, so your doctor tells you your diet is poor. You become even more strict in your diet, and the tissue starvation (low glucose, low energy) gets worse, which makes the stress physiology worse, which makes your cholesterol higher, which prompts your doctor to put you on cholesterol medication, which interferes with energy production, which further stresses your physiology…whew! You are frustrated!
Depression: Low thyroid impairs the production of stimulating neurotransmitters, which are the chemicals that antidepressants work on. Low stimulating neurotransmitters leaves you, as one of my professors described, feeling “lower than a snakes belly.”
Female Hormones: Low thyroid changes the way estrogen is metabolized in the body, shifting toward an estrogen metabolite that has been proven to increase the risk of breast cancer.
Stress: Low thyroid slows the elimination of the stress hormone cortisol, which leaves you feeling stressed out, not because of “stress,” but because the stress hormone can’t be removed efficiently.
Detoxification: Low thyroid slows an enzyme critical for metabolic biotransformation, or detoxification, the process by which the body binds and removes all environmental chemicals, and normal byproducts of metabolism, including hormones. “Toxicity” further slows your metabolism, and leads to headaches and other toxic symptoms.
Digestion: Low thyroid reduces the release of Gastrin, which determines the output of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, leading to poor protein digestion, sour stomach, and GERD.
Thermoregulation: Regulation of body temperature is affected by low thyroid, resulting in hot flashes and night sweats, which is especially prominent in perimenopausal women. This is often blamed on estrogen dropping, but may be directly caused by low thyroid.
PMS and Infertility: Low thyroid affects the progesterone receptors, making them less sensitive to progesterone, which feels like low progesterone, although the progesterone levels may be normal. Since the activity of progesterone is diminished, the health of the uterus is insufficient for implantation in the second half of the female cycle, leading to difficulties getting pregnant and PMS. Low thyroid also reduces sex hormone binding proteins, leading to an increase in estrogen activity.
Anemia: Low thyroid, as mentioned affects protein metabolism, which then lowers the red blood cell mass, which carries oxygen to tissues for metabolism of energy. Yes, another mechanism for feeling lousy.
Homocysteine: Low thyroid slows a process called methylation, often evidenced by elevated serum levels of homocysteine. Elevated homocysteine in the blood has been proven as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disorders, and cervical dysplasia.
Since so many body functions are affected or influenced by thyroid hormones, it is vital that your thyroid hormone levels are in the normal functional range. With long-standing autoimmune attack on your thyroid, those with Hashimotho's end up with diminished thyroid gland tissue as evidenced by high TSH and very high TPO antibodies (and at times TBG antibodies). In this scenario, it is likely you will need thyroid hormone replacement AND the 5-Prong Comprehensive Approach For Helping With Autoimmune Illness to prevent or reduce further attack on your thyroid gland (OR OTHER glands and tissues of your body).
Properly co-managing your thyroid condition symptoms with medical care and my comprehensive "get to the root cause(s)" approach, can prevent or mitigate many devasting consequences to your health and well-being. Choose to take charge of your health NOW!
If you found value in this article, please use the social sharing icons at the top of this post and please share with those you know who are still suffering with low thyroid symptoms despite having medical managment. Thank you, help me reach more people so they may regain their zest for living!
All the best – Dr. Johnson – Digging Deeper To Find Solutions
You know the feeling - - you are invited to someones lake house for a holiday celebration and you think to yourself - how am I going to stick to my health supporting diet?
Living with autoimmune illness, such as celiac disease, Hashimoto's, Parkinson's or something else is a strain on the body and mind. Deciding you want to do whatever it takes to prevent further progression of the disease process - or better yet prevent the process from getting a foothold requires great will power and intestinal fortitude!
Whether you have recently been told you have celiac disease or you are a seasoned veteran with a known autoimmune process, you've got to take charge and make sure your meals stay free of immune stimulating foods.
My wife and I (and our children) need to be gluten free, casein free and soy free (among other individually varying food sensitivities) - so what do we do? The most sensible plan is to make and bring safe foods to eat whenever we get invited to someones home for a holiday celebration. We love going to White Lake to take in the beauty and fun of the lake and the fireworks on the 4th of July weekend. We found out we were not alone in having sensitivities as our host's mother was diagnosed with celiac disease.
Our gastronomical contribution was cut up watermelon, a tomato salad, fresh organic strawberries, seared Ahi Tuna steaks (cooled and sliced, then placed on a bed of romaine lettuce for eating cold) , gluten-free brownies, a vegetable tray, hummus and some veggie crisp munchies. Sticking to gluten free adult beverages like gin and tonic or wine allows for guilt free toasting as well.
When it came time to come together to satisfy our hunger, we knew all our food selections would be safe and we could continue our health supporting lifestyle.
Our host's mother was new to the whole gluten free lifstyle so she learned a lot in the process too. For further help, I directed her to my blog and website so she could learn about accurate testing and other nuances of the whole autoimmune process.
An important point to remember...just cheating a bit with a piece or bite of forbidden food can set a whole body inflammatory process that can last for days, weeks or months!
Our 4th of July celebration was fun, healthful and full of guilt-free food and drink. You can do it too!